As a 17 year old reading the following quotation for the first time, I was truly puzzled yet again. Gratefully I knew I was reading wisdom and it surely seemed foreign fuzzy-wuzzy talk to me. Every quotation from Gibran that I’ve shared in the blog this week I realize mystified and intrigued me 61 years ago. Now I believe that many of Gibran’s quotations are so deeply meaningful that a person can spend a lifetime contemplating them and incorporating the wisdom into thoughts and actions. The full quotation follows:
“Love possesses not nor would it be possessed. For love is sufficient unto love. And think not you can direct the course of love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course. Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself.” ― Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
As a teenager, I knew no one who loved without possessing attitudes. I knew no one who loved without what I later called ifs, ands and buts. (Fifty years later I realized there really was one person who understood and lived this wisdom. That was my English teacher, Josephine Hardiman.) The attitudes of everyone else around me were:
“This is my mate.”
“This is my family.”
“This is my property.” (Farmers did generously share their machinery and wagons briefly to assist the community in harvesting and success).
“You better know my boundaries.”
It was “rural Northern Indiana ideology” then and I’m suspicious it is the thought of frightened gun toting Americans. I experience this possessive thinking nearly daily. It comes to my attention that most parents of the children I teach do not want me to enjoy and love their children. Only two families have kept me informed about the process of their children after leaving piano lessons. I am grateful to be included in the beloved students’ processes. If I inquire about most students’ lives after they have stopped lessons I get,”Oh, she/he’s not interested in lessons anymore.” Which I interpret to mean, “Don’t contact us again. You are not a friend.”
Gibran’s description of love is self-less, cherishes the other and is Divine in nature. It is well worth contemplation and dedication to experience and to become this Love.
And if any parents of my students do read this. I cherish you and your child/ren. And to those who love my daughter Laurie unconditionally, bless you, thank you. Some days I give over possession of love and other days I work on releasing love.